Around the World's Markets


FOOTSIE STRUGGLED back from its worst levels of the day but still ended at its year's low. At one time it was off 156 points before closing down 65.3 at 4,990.3. The mid and small cap indices also crashed to their year's lows.

The market was tortured by Tokyo, where banking reforms look more uncertain, tension in Malaysia and another weak New York display. Financial shares were hit on talk of a global banking crisis. The market is also fretting about profits warnings.

Derek Pain, page 21


STOCKS recovered from a severe early battering after the broadcast of President Clinton's grand jury testimony in the White House sex scandal was less damaging than expected. The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 37.59 points at 7,933.25.

The index tumbled more than 180 points on opening after the sharp losses overnight in Asia and Europe and on concern for Japan's banks. Blue-chip losses began easing by early afternoon as President Clinton's taped testimony neared its end.


THE NIKKEI 225 index closed at a 12-year low amid worries that a political deadlock will delay reform of Japan's financial system.

The Nikkei fell 385.82 points, or 2.8 per cent, to 13,597.30, its lowest close since February 1986. Banks led the decliners with concerns they will keep staggering under bad loans estimated at 77 trillion yen ($584bn). An agreement on banking reform was hammered out on Friday but Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and opposition parties remain apart on some key details, party officials said.


SHARE PRICES closed sharply lower amid global concerns, with the threat of a political crisis in Malaysia raising fears of renewed regional currency weakness.

The Hang Seng closed down 3.7 per cent at 7,170.23. Blue chips were led down by declines in HSBC Holdings, which closed down HK$5 at HK$132.

Dealers said market sentiment was affected by steep falls in Tokyo. The red-chip CAC index was 38.43 points down at 718.54, while the China Enterprises index fell 15.63 to 337.69.


BRAZILIAN shares closed down 3.87 per cent yesterday as the latest developments in the White House sex scandal unnerved markets already concerned over declines in global bourses. "The market was basically all about the Clinton video testimony," said a trader.

The Bovespa index ended the day at 6,450. Like Wall Street it recovered after sharp initial losses of more than 7 per cent in morning trade, following the Dow's rebound but in the end unable to claw back all its morning losses.

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